Tips for Staying Healthy on the Road from People Who Get Paid to Drink

man drink phone travel

Traveling can take a toll on the body, whether you’re doing it for business or pleasure. From the dehydrating airplane ride to an abundance of new restaurants and bars to try, staying healthy and balanced requires extra effort on the road.

We asked some of our favorite spirits brand ambassadors, who travel for a living, how they maintain their daily routines while constantly flying somewhere new. Between tastings, events, and celebratory meals, staying healthy can be a challenge for these professional imbibers, so they stick to certain practices to keep them balanced on the go. Check out their tips and tricks so you can enjoy your next excursion without suffering from a mid-vacation burnout.

Make Time for a Workout

“Personally, I pack my runners and make a point of running the streets of any cities I go to.” — Sebastien Derbomez, Hendrick’s Gin

“While it’s tempting to hit the hotel bar right after checking in to my accommodation, the first thing I do is head to the gym. Even if the schedule for the next couple of days doesn’t allow for more workouts, I’ve already gotten one in.” — Allan Roth, Glenfiddich

“Being active is truly key. Whether I am swimming laps, going for a walk, or doing jumping jacks, I am always trying to keep the blood flowing.” — Trevor Schneider, Reyka

“When I wake up, I drink at least 12 ounces of water, stretch, and do some easy calisthenics — pushups, situps, dips, etc. I like to get a quick run in as well, just something to help me wake up and get the blood flowing. I usually will run a quick mile, or two if I have the time. It really sets the stage for a good day, by either helping me work through the late night I had just hours ago or building from the restful night’s sleep I gave myself to prepare for my long day ahead.” — Alex Kirles, The House of Angostura

“I’m a running, SoulCycle, boxing nut, so whenever I’m booking hotels on the road, I specifically choose a hotel extremely close to one of those options and I make sure to figure out my workout routine in the morning before any activities begin. I’ve learned that even if you think you’ll be free at 5 p.m., things always pop up.” — Stephanie Teslar, Patrón

gym exercise workout dumbbell

“For working out, I pretty much stick to yoga and some cardio. I have found that this helps me mentally and physically, especially starting my day.” — Willy Shine, Jägermeister

“It can be very challenging to fit in a workout to my busy schedule especially when I’m tired, but exercise is very important to keep a balanced lifestyle. I try to work out at least three times a week; ideally, I like to get up early and work out, which energizes me for the day. I love running outside. It’s great because you can do it anywhere. I like to plan my runs in new cities using the Map My Run app so I can plan the route and distance. In addition to that, I have ClassPass and try to look for new, fun classes to join close by to where I’m staying.” — Raquel Raies, The Macallan

“Sweat it off — stretch it out! … Exercise is the best way to get back in your body,” says Vidal.

“Exercising on the road — make this non-negotiable. You will feel energized and when it is time for bed, you will probably be more ready for lights out. If possible, I always book my hotel room on the same floor as the gym. It’s really hard to make an excuse when the gym is next door. And get familiar with Fitness Blender. It has a bazillion workouts for every level. Great for exercising in a hotel room when you don’t have a ton of time.” — Eric “ET” Tecosky, Jack Daniels

“Sweat it off — stretch it out! Whatever it is that you do to get your body moving, your heartbeat rising, and your endorphins kicking. Exercise is the best way to get back in your body. I practice yoga around the world, sometimes in my hotel room or I Google the local studio. It really keeps me grounded and sane! — Camille Ralph Vidal, St-Germain

“Usually when I’m on a plane, I drink a lot of water. I also make sure to squeeze in 30 mins of cycling in the morning (even if means waking up earlier). Sometimes I’ll do this before an event in the evening as well.” — Roberta Mariani, Martini & Rossi

Drink Plenty of Water

“I try to drink at least two liters of water every day! When consuming alcohol, I aim to drink even more than usual, specifically room temperature or warm water as it improves circulation in the body in addition to hydration, which is so important while traveling.” — Schneider

water

“I always drink a full water bottle before I go to bed, to stave off any potential headaches.” — Kirles

“Staying hydrated is essential when traveling, so I always bring a refillable water bottle with me. I add supplements to my routine which include, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-12, Zinc and liquid minerals. I think these are really important especially when traveling to make sure you keep your immune system healthy.” — Raies

Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand

“I enjoy a plant-based diet and it’s hard on the road sometimes to find nutritious foods to eat. So I carry a lot of snacks like nuts, vegan protein bars low in sugar, dehydrated fruits, and vegan deli slices. If I’m not snacking every several hours, my energy gets low as does my performance while presenting.” — Camille Austin, Montelobos Mezcal

“It’s not always the easiest to find healthy airport food, and once you do, it’s usually more expensive, so I’ll grab a pack of almonds and fresh fruit like a banana. When I eat them together, it reminds me of having a bowl of cereal — you’ll have to try it!” – Schneider

“During the day I like to snack on peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc. — foods high in fat content that can help me feel full without having to indulge in a meal.” — Kirles

“I bring healthy snacks like granola bars, fruit, and nuts with me, which help me avoid always going for the cookies or chips handed out on the flights. Because I don’t drink coffee, I always bring a great selection of herbal teas with me, such as mint, green, jasmine, and rose, which have great antioxidants and help soothe and relax me. I also bring my little travel kettle with me as most hotels only have coffee makers.” — Raies

“I always have some almonds in my bag in case meetings are running late and I miss lunch.” – Mariani

Stand When You Can

“I never sit while waiting to board a plane because I’ll be sitting through the entire flight, and want to make sure circulation is still flowing throughout my body.” — Schneider

“Before I know I’m going to be on a plane for several hours, I like to stretch a bit to get my circulation flowing before I board. This helps reduce some ankle and general swelling.” — Austin

Be Conscious of Your Drinking

“I will have a few drinks when I am out for dinner, but the volume is usually between one and three at the absolute most. Sometimes, I’ll opt for low-ABV drinks if I know it’s going to be a long day. During a night out on trips, we typically hit three to four bars to get a lay of the land, so that turns out to be a manageable number if I keep it to one drink per bar. Also, I rarely finish my drinks. You don’t have to. I wish someone told me that earlier in life; I feel like it would have saved me quite a few hard mornings.” — Kirles

stirring a cocktail

“I always use this rule: ‘It’s a marathon, not a sprint.’ If the night begins at a happy hour event, I don’t have to come out swinging. I may just have one drink or even just a taste or two. Another big rule of thumb is for every drink, I always have a glass of water as well. Not only does it keep me hydrated, but it slows down the impulse to order another cocktail. And if the night does start early, I may even shy away from my favorite drink of a Jack on the rocks and opt for a low- ABV option to begin the evening.” — Tecosky

“Few things make me as happy as sipping a Martini Negroni during the aperitivo hour with my friends, but it’s important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated — and drink responsibly. You don’t have to get drunk to be cool or have fun! To be able to take care of others in the industry, you need to take care of yourself, first.” — Mariani

“It’s easy sometimes to get caught up in the excitement of traveling. I always try to enjoy as much as I can but also pace myself. One day in a city might be the beginning of two weeks on the road, so I always make sure I manage my time and energy level the best I can. Sometimes it means not going to that last place for a delicious cocktail or not having time to see all the people I would love to see. But in the long run, it’s my way to keep it constant and not too hard on my body, mind, and spirit.” — Vidal

Get Lots of Rest

“Just as staying active is important, good sleep is key to help balance out all energy levels and have a clear mind to be able to truly share the culture of mezcal with everyone I meet. Even though I would love to sleep eight to nine hours every night, often on these quick trips we are out visiting accounts late at night and have distributor presentations in the early morning.” — Austin

“I travel with a few essential oils and supplements to aid with healthy sleep, knowing that sometimes I can only grab a few hours of shuteye and I like those hours to be worthwhile. I usually take natural valerian root, hops, and lemon balm to get a restful sleep, and I also bring a small atomizer with a blend of cedar, lavender, and sage to spray in my room to help me relax.” — Teslar

“Just as staying active is important, good sleep is key to help balance out all energy levels and have a clear mind,” says Austin.

“A cold shower will help with insomnia. I also take melatonin when my body clock is all over the place and I can’t get it back on track.” — Vidal

“Get a comfy neck pillow for the plane to help inspire a snooze. Make sure you book or pay to have a seat that keeps you comfortable and lets you sleep. Also, if you know that you need X hours of sleep a night, then get it. Set your alarm when you are out and when it goes off, get out. Save the big night out for the night before you leave and catch up on the plane or when you are in your own bed. You don’t want to ruin a big presentation or meeting because you had to stay out til closing time.” — Tecosky

“Ideally, I try to get eight hours of sleep, but this is not always possible with a hectic schedule. There are lots of early morning and late nights, but the key is balance and planning. When I know I have a few late nights ahead, I try to make sure I can get a few extra hours of sleep in the morning or dedicate a few hours of downtime to rest.” — Raies

Lighter Meals are a Must

“For me, planning ahead is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle while on the road. I always do a little research on where I can find healthy food or grocery stores around where I am staying. This makes it much easier to make sure I have good options when I arrive. I usually try to stick to a protein and salad or vegetables at dinner, especially if it’s late. However, my motto is everything in moderation including moderation. I’m very fortunate in my role I get to enjoy meals at some of the best restaurants in the world and definitely indulge now and again.” — Raies

salad work desk computer

“If I have the chance to eat an actual breakfast, I stick to eggs and some type of breakfast meat — turkey bacon if available. I do my best to stay away from any and all bread/muffins/pastry. If I’m in the airport, I resist every urge to grab a bagel and cream cheese and usually grab the vegetable and hummus thing from the to-go spots. Beef jerky is always good as well. My ideal lunch is a salad with grilled chicken or salmon. For dinner, I do my best to go protein and vegetables. I am human, so I know there will be some cravings I won’t be able to resist. If I am going to Philly, I will have a cheesesteak, and if I am in Nashville, I will have fried chicken. If both of those cities are on the same trip, I have to make a really heartbreaking life decision. Basically, pick one cheat meal per trip. Enjoy it and don’t feel guilty.” — Tecosky

“Pick one cheat meal per trip. Enjoy it and don’t feel guilty,” says Tecosky.

“I have a small breakfast of either fruit and green tea or a veggie omelet with green or black tea. I usually go for heavy vegetable and fish-based dinners and lunches. I am by no means a dietitian or physician, but ever since I cut meat out of my diet, I have found a higher energy level by consuming more seafood, vegetables, fruits, etc.” — Kirles

“I try to eat on the lighter side and stay somewhat healthy while traveling. I always keep Kind Bars and a Hydro Flask on hand at all times. With such long days, diet is very important to stay energized and at the top of your game. Espresso also helps a lot!” — Shine

“The buffet breakfast at the hotel can look tempting with all the delicious croissants and chocolate pastries, but I resist and have a plain unsweetened yogurt with fruit, or oat flakes with unsweetened almond milk and a double espresso (as an Italian, I drink a lot of coffee). Before an event, I drink a vegetarian protein shake. It helps me feel full and satisfied so I avoid eating those tasty, but not really healthy, nuts and chips.” — Mariani

“Even if it’s hard, I try as much as I can to eat good, soul-nurturing food. Not gonna lie, I sometimes reach for that chocolate bar and packet of crisps when my energy is low and I’m craving for a quick fix. But to be honest, it usually doesn’t work.” — Vidal

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